Today I was looking at the question of this user. The question was pretty simple, he was looking for the eval function in not knowing of it's existence. He received a comment and while I was finishing reading the question, I saw him commenting

Thanks, eval() is what I was looking for.

and then he deleted his question. In my opinion, such behavior isn't appropriate. So, should I just ignore this or can I do something about it?

  • 6
    First, true, that behavior is not appropriate, flag the user for Mod-Attention...second, that question isn't appropriate either. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:31
  • 2
    Yeah, I'd just let it go. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:32
  • 5
    A good starting point for the whole "what to do with rage quits/vandalism" family is this question: What to do when the OP mutilates their own question? Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:32
  • 2
    flag the user for Mod-Attention - I am unable to find such option in a user's profile :( Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:35
  • 2
    Flag abusive users Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:36
  • 2
    Also, be aware that deleting of (downvoted) questions will lead to the phenomenon of "The Mysterious Appearing Duplicates" of this question. Also, no need to flag anything anymore, since you've come to Meta anyway (not the normal way). Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:38
  • 1
    Don't forget that a low reputation user who does this too often will be automatically question-banned. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 12:09
  • @AndriusNaruševičius -- meta.stackexchange.com/q/128618/155556
    – Naftali
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 13:01
  • 2
    "I am unable to find such option in a user's profile " There is not option to flag a user...go to some item of their content, flag there and explain in the comment field. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:24
  • Thank you for advice, everyone :) Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


The user may generally be acting out of many possible motivations.

  • Honest attempt to delete a subpar question
  • Embarrassment of some kind
  • Misunderstanding of the purpose of the site ("thanks, problem solved")
  • Covering tracks (homework, interviews, contests, trade secrets)
  • Annoyance at a comment or answer
  • Vampire style of doing his job (like this)

You have also multiple way to quash your mild frustration.

  • Ignore the occasional incident
  • Find their question in browser history, post it under your own name and self-answer it.
  • Answer only questions by well known posters.
  • Comment on another post by that person to ask them to undelete
  • Use a free form flag (if you can't see the deleted question, flag another post by that person) for moderator attention to the person or question. Explain about the deleting.
  • Fill some kind of a feature request here at meta

There is probably not a single interpretation of this phenomenon. It is relatively common to edit or delete own answers based on comments. Sometimes, a comment in place of an answer is deliberately used to encourage some action on the part of the OP. Comments are not intended to be long lived, although in more complex situations, some of them often end up to be.

Therefore, if there was no answer posted by the time the question got deleted, I would assume that the user has interpreted, and acted on, the comment in one of many available entirely appropriate ways.


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